Here’s how to wash a comforter so it’s fresh and clean.

By Sharon Tanenbaum and Real Simple Editors
Updated May 27, 2020
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Wondering how to wash a comforter without taking it to the dry cleaner? Learning how to wash a comforter at home is easier than you think.

Most down-alternative comforters are machine washable, but it’s best to do this in a large commercial machine at the neighborhood laundromat. A smaller household washer could compress and distort the filler, says Allen Rathey, president of Housekeeping Channel.

Wash the comforter with the machine set on the gentle or delicate cycle, using cool or warm water. Since every comforter is a bit different, check the care tag or contact the manufacturer for detergent suggestions. Then dry the comforter on low heat with a few tennis balls to plump it up. (Put the tennis balls in clean white socks to avoid potentially leaving marks on your clean comforter.) Or consider using wool dryer balls ($19 for three;, which can help fluff your comforter in the dryer. Always check the care label on your comforter or duvet insert before putting it into the washing machine or dryer or taking it to the cleaner’s.

Keep your comforter clean in between washings by protecting it with a duvet cover. (Here’s how to put on a duvet cover.) When the cover needs a cleaning, it will easily fit, just like bed linens, into a household washing machine.

Most experts recommend duvet covers be washed every few weeks. A comforter or duvet insert should be washed a few times a year, though you can reduce the frequency of washing by keeping a cover on the comforter. Unlike figuring out how to wash a weighted blanket (particularly if you use it often or spill on it) or how to wash towels, mastering cleaning a comforter should be an infrequently used skill.

Whether you’re trying to clean your comforter or duvet cover at home to avoid potential coronavirus exposure or you simply want to cut out another expense, this guide will get your comforter clean and fresh—without sacrificing fluffiness.